Oriole Academy

New OA Location WE DID IT!  The Oriole Academy has a new home!  We're located next to the district's Central Business Office on Tinkham Avenue in Ludington.  We love it and we know you will too.

The Oriole Academy is a school within a school for the non-traditional student seeking a high school diploma with emphasis for career exploration and preparation with training through job shadowing, internship or employment opportunities. 

For more information regarding admission into the academy, please email the OA Director, Melanie Tomaski at mtomaski@lasd.net.

Students must be enrolled into the school district (include the application for admission into the academy) for admission consideration.  Each student attend an orientation prior to the start of any classes.  Call 231-845-3880, ext 2843 today!

Orioles are rare because there are few in a crowd.  They are unmistakably ready for any task set before them in anticipation for the needs of today’s job market.

VISION STATEMENT:  The Vision of the Oriole “Work-based Learning” Academy  is to provide students with the best possible “job-ready” high school completion program for students unable to attend the traditional public school system to obtain their diploma, explore career pathways and obtain knowledge and 21st century skills essential for today’s job market.

The level and degree of our success can be measured by our competent and skilled alumni workforce who enable business and industry to maintain the economic vitality and high quality of life associated with those living in the United States of America.

MISSION STATEMENT: The Oriole “Work-Based Learning” Academy will provide students with a unique blend of online and work-based learning experiences that promotes 21st century skills needed to be successful in today’s workforce.

We pledge to provide all students in our program with the critical skills necessary to become informed, productive citizens in the communities where they will live and work.

The mission of the young Oriole is to explore and gather all the facts and skills necessary to establish the traditions for building strong foundations for healthy and happy living.

Last updated 9/14/23

The Oriole Academy is on a semester schedule.  Classes for the 2023-24 school year begin on September 5, 2023 and January 22, 2024.  All enrollment forms, intake assessments and the orientation must be complete prior to the start of school.  We are ready to walk you through each step to ensure a smooth entry and successful educational experience.  CALL US NOW!

NEW students and families seeking information for enrollment.

A new student could be anyone in or outside of the school district between the ages of 14 and 20 that has not achieved a high school diploma.  In most situations, the student or someone in their family struggles with a medical condition, financial hardship or unable to graduate on time.  The OA is a customized program to meet the needs of each student.

The FIRST STEP:  Complete the New Student Application form and/or contact High School Principal, Steve Forsberg at 231-845-3880 to schedule the initial appointment to discuss how the Oriole Academy is different and whether or not it can meet your child's educational needs.

AFTER the decision has been made to move forward, the Director of the Oriole Academy, Mrs. Tomaski will contact the student and/or parent to begin your intake process for application into the Oriole Academy, program overview and requirements, high school credit assessment, educational goals and needs, internet and technology status, schedules, and other information relevant to your success.

ALL students must attend an orientation before the start of school:  (parents are encouraged to attend)

  • INCOMING Student Orientation
    • January 17th from 9am - 10:30am 
  • NEXT Orientation will be mid-February, 2024.

Returning students will be contacted by Mrs. Tomaski prior to the start of school or any online courses.  Each returning student is required to attend one of the orientations before attending or working on any classes (see details above).



All Oriole Academy students must meet the Michigan Merit requirements including a Work-based Learning Experience to achieve a high school diploma.



*What school grades can qualify for the Oriole Academy?

Response:  grades 9 -12.

*Who should consider attending the Oriole Academy?

Response:  students who find it difficult to enroll in a daily, traditional class schedule due to medical conditions, family responsibilities, employment or other hardships. Students seeking "hands-on" training in work-based learning opportunities for career preparation.

*What is expected of the student?

The OA is unlike most high school programs, but are required to meet state requirements for attendance and academic progress. 

Students must attend in-person, once each week and show academic growth from week to week while enrolled in the program.  A maximum of two absences are allowed. (one class equals one five-day week).  Students must be passing three of the five classes at all times.  Life happens.  Students are not released from the program until all applicable recovery strategies have been exhausted to regain good standing status.

*What is Work-based Learning?

Response:  the purpose of work-based learning is to use real work as the primary source of learning. The educational experience is coordinated through the school district, with the assistance of an employer, under the supervision of a occupationally certificated teacher or coordinator employed by the school.  These experiences may be paid or unpaid depending upon the placement requirements and skill level of the student.

*When/who decides the work-based learning placement for me?

Response:  not all students will be placed into a work-based learning environment when they begin.  It's a gradual process to ensure the placement is a good fit  for you and a good fit for the business. Where the student fits on the Michigan WBL Continuum Model determines when you will be placed in a WBL experience.  There are four stages of work-based learning:  Career Awareness, Career Exploration, Career Training and Career Preparation (in that order).  Students begin with career excursions and field trips and proceed into  a vocational course and later the WBL experience.

*How many classes are required?

Response:  Each student is required to complete the Michigan Merit Curriculum courses including a Work-based Learning course per semester which accumulates to 20 credits in total. There are two semesters per school year.  Each semester requires five classes.

*What happens if I am unable to complete all the courses in time for graduation?

Response:  Summer school may be an option.  It is our goal to make sure you are on track for graduation depending on total number of credits you've earned.  Staff works with each student and their families to create a plan to accomplish this goal.

Response:  Seniors may qualify to take more than the five courses per semester to catch up. 

Response:  Seniors may qualify to return the following school year.

*Will the student graduate with a diploma?

Response:  Yes. To receive a high school diploma every student is required to complete the Michigan Merit Curriculum and a work-based learning experience practicum.  This is NOT the GED or a high school completion certificate.

The OA is a separate high school from LHS and will hold a separate graduation usually in Peterson Auditorium.  For the Class of 2024, students will be graduating in Hawley Gym,  due to the construction schedule.  Check the OA Calendar for the exact graduation date (which is always about one week prior to the LHS graduation).

*What technology is required?

Response:  the student is provided with a device from the school to work with the online courses and receive other pieces of information required for communication between school and student.  Students need internet access at home or another location to conduct most of their coursework.

*What deadlines or schedules must be followed?

Response:  students report to the academy once a week for announcements, work-based learning training and academic support. 

Current Schedule:  Each session will begin at 11am and completed by 1:30pm. One day each month is designated as a make up day if you cannot attend on your normally scheduled day. Students can also use this day to receive additional support.

Future 2023 Schedule:  information is coming soon!

*What if one day a week is not enough for in-person studies?

Response:  students and/or their families may request additional in-person time OR staff might recommend to students and their families for scheduling additional in-person support.  A Recovery Plan for additional in-person support will be created together.

The Math Lab and tutors are also available for academy students to access as needed.

*What extra curricular activities are available?

Response:  students may participate in any after school extra curricular athletics, clubs or organizations available to high school students int he district and must follow the guidelines for each.  Weekly eligibility checks will be made for participation.

*Can the student attend after school social events, activities or dances?

Response:  OA students may participate in any after LHS school social events, games, activities or dances as long as they are a student in good standing.  OA students are not allowed to attend social events like LHS pep assemblies or other LHS class meetings (LHS is the other high school). 

*How do I get started?

Response:  complete the application and submit or contact the high school office at (231)845-3880 as soon as possible.

Back to School "Sneak Peak" Orientation is required for all students.  Register online SNEAK PEAK .  Students must be enrolled prior to attending an orientation.  Call 231-845-3880 today!

"Returning" Students must attend one: 

    *Wednesday, August 23 from 10am - Noon @ the CBO Boardroom

    *Wednesday, August 23 from 6 - 8pm @ the CBO Boardroom

"New" Students must attend:

    *Thursday, August 24 from 1 - 3pm @ the CBO Boardroom